Elvis always in his skin

Elvis always in his skin


Elvis Presley passed away today, August 16, 1977. But for 27 years, Martin Fontaine has been bringing it back to life on stage. With the new version of Elvis Experience, which is coming tonight at the Théâtre St-Denis, the performer wants to immerse the public in a show the King was doing in 1972. 

When he launched the concept of Elvis Experience in 2013, Martin Fontaine knew he was putting set up an idea with almost infinite possibilities. While Elvis Story, which he had played for 12 years, had a rather rigid format, that of Elvis Experience can be renewed every night. < /p>

“I can build gigs every day,” says Martin Fontaine. It's always a different directory. The texts, I do them on the fly [at the moment]. It allows us great artistic freedom. That's what keeps this magic fresh. »

Martin Fontaine

After having touched on the Vegas years of Elvis, Martin Fontaine this time wanted to reconstruct the tour that the King had done in North America, in 1972. 

“We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this tour which was called Elvis On Tour, he says. She had been listed in a movie. I got a lot of inspiration from that. They were powerful rock shows. It was on steroids. It is almost a historical reconstruction. »

Creating the illusion

Thus, as he has done since his beginnings as the personifier of King, Martin Fontaine addresses the audience in English, as if it was indeed Elvis who was playing in front of them.

“In concert with Elvis, anything could happen. He improvised a lot. He was unpredictable. He was a ham. He fooled around with the public and with his band. He could surprise them and change the order of the songs. That was the fun with Elvis. He was like a well-equipped chansonnier.”

Fun fact: Elvis was 37 on this Elvis On Tour. Martin Fontaine, him? There are 20 more! “It's a pleasure, a privilege and an honor to be able to do it again and create the illusion,” says the singer, who is well aware that he won't be able to play the King for much longer. 27 years old. “The discipline and the rigor that it takes to support a show like that for a long time, it's more difficult than before”.

Despite everything, when we mention to him that last spring, he had announced that he would be saying goodbye to Elvis at the end of 2022, Martin Fontaine is suddenly less affirmative.

“It's not me who decides, it's life that decides that, he says first. Artists, what we want in life is to play. But we don't decide. The phone might ring one day. I always acted like it was the last show. 

” I will never lose this pleasure “

So , for now, Elvis Experience showsannounced in 2022 are the “latest” for Martin Fontaine as Elvis. But if we trust the enthusiasm that the show arouses again this year – the singer claims to have had a fabulous reaction this summer in Gatineau –, we very much doubt that his King costumes will be put away forever. < /p>

“The important thing is to have fun. I still have it. I will never lose this pleasure of embodying the character and sharing it with people. 

Elvis Experiencewill be presented tonight, and until Saturday, at the St-Denis Theater in Montreal. The show will then go to Trois-Rivières (August 23 to 27), Saguenay (September 1 to 4) and Quebec City (December 7 to 31). elvisexperience.com. 

Go beyond the beaten track 

Martin Fontaine still hasn't seen Baz Luhrmann's film about the King, Elvis. But according to the Quebec singer, a private screening should take place this week for his show team Elvis Experience, at the Théâtre St-Denis.

Having only seen the trailer for the feature film so far, the singer has already seen the filmmaker's attention to detail. reproduce “with brilliance and precision” certain well-known moments in the life of Elvis.

“He started from documents or photos that we already knew by heart and he reproduced them to perfection, says Martin Fontaine. I found it disgusting. »

Artistic approach

The singer, however, hopes that the production of Elvistried to go “beyond the beaten track”. “A guy like me, who has seen them millions and millions of times, I like to go and find images that we have never seen. Him [Luhrmann], he started from things that were very present in our minds. Probably it was an artistic approach that he wanted to do. I hope he has gone even further and that we see things we have never seen. »

Knowing the life of Elvis inside out Would Martin Fontaine have liked to be consulted for this film? “I can't pretend I know more than [Elvis'] family,” he said. If they were contacted to be consultants on the film, there are cases they clearly wanted to romance or people they wanted to oust. » 

Elvis Presley in 10 dates… 

January 8, 1935 

Birth of Elvis Aaron Presley, in Tupelo, Mississippi. Eleven years later, on the same day, for his birthday, little Elvis received his first guitar, which had cost less than 10 dollars.  

November 6, 1948

The Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Young Elvis receives the biggest applause at his high school's annual talent show.

November 21, 1955

Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records. His musical career was launched. The following year, the singer recorded his first album, which included the hit Heartbreak Hotel.  

November 15, 1956

First film in which Elvis plays. Titled Love Me Tender, the feature film is set in the southern United States in the 1800s. It was an instant box office hit.

March 25, 1957

Recently proclaimed “King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis buys Graceland for US$102,500. He moved there with his parents and paternal grandparents.  

March 24, 1958

Aged 23, Elvis was recruited by the 'army. He spent six months training at Fort Hood, Texas. He then went to Germany for 18 months.

September 13, 1959

It was in Germany that Elvis met the young Priscilla Beaulieu. So 14 years old, she is ten years younger than the singer. The couple would not marry until May 1967 and would welcome their daughter, Lisa Marie, nine months later.  

March 20, 1960

After being discharged from the army that year, Elvis returns to the studio for the first time in two years. He designed the album Elvis is Back!, in addition to filming his fifth film, G.I. Blues.

July 31, 1969

After an eight-year hiatus from concerts, Elvis began a new four-week residency, and 57 shows in Las Vegas. It was the longest engagement for an artist in Vegas at the time.  

August 16, 1977

The planet learns the death of the King, at only 42 years old, of a heart attack. The singer had seen his health deteriorate in recent years. His funeral takes place two days later. Elvis is buried alongside his parents at Graceland.